Mrs. María Cristina Perceval took office as Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean in March 2016.
Prior to joining UNICEF Mrs. Perceval served as Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations (2012-2015); and as Undersecretary for Human Rights (2010 -2012). In 2001 she was elected Senator of the Republic by the Province of Mendoza, her native province, serving until 2009. She was the first woman to chair the Defense Committee.
She was founder and director of the Institute of Social Management at the University of Aconcagua, and was president of the Institute for Women in Mendoza between 1993 and 1995. As a Member of the Mercosur Parliament, she chaired regional networks for the promotion and protection of human rights such as the Commission on Equality, Gender, Children and Youth of the Parlatino, the International Council of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) and the Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (2005-2009).
Mrs. Perceval is a graduate of the National University of Cuyo, Argentina, where she specialized in gender issues, epistemology and human rights.
She is a national of Argentina, and speaks fluent Spanish and English. She is married and has three children and two granddaughters.